13819 Tue, 02/19/2008 - 1:37pm
LAS VEGAS–A petition is circulating among tenants of the World Market Center here to urge show management to lower rents, common area charges and other fees that tenants pay to maintain their Las Vegas Market showrooms.
The issue emerged early last week after WMC tenant Robert Weiss, principal of Robert M. Weiss Presents, e-mailed about 70 WMC tenants urging them to petition management to lower rents, common area charges, drayage and other fees they pay to maintain their Las Vegas Market showrooms “so we can save the Las Vegas Market.”
In his e-mail, the contents of which Weiss confirmed for HFN, Weiss asks tenants: “Have you sold enough at the Las Vegas Market to pay your exhibit expenses? We hope the answer is YES! However, if like many of us, your answer is NO, and before you take the ultimate step of pulling out of the show, perhaps you would consider joining together to sign a petition to present to Show Management?”
Weiss further states that: “Most agree that we should collectively hire an attorney to present our case to Show Management.”
Bob Maricich, World Market Center president and chief executive officer, told HFN he heard about it from a news story in the Greensboro [N.C.] News-Record on Friday.
“This guy, Robert Weiss, is clearly in the minority. Why he wouldn’t come to us directly to discuss this” is unclear, Maricich told HFN.
Maricich said he’s framing a letter to tenants that will give breakdowns of overall attendance, buyer attendance and other figures from the January Las Vegas Market that will present “overwhelmingly positive comments from tenants and buyers” about the World Market Center. That letter will go out to tenants today.
In a phone call this morning, Weiss told HFN he’s received “lots” of positive responses from fellow tenants. The issue has certainly hit a nerve with WMC tenants, he said. Weiss said he was reluctant to divulge any further information.
“It’s still in conversation. I don’t think it’s proper to discuss this” until some action is taken, Weiss told HFN. Weiss didn’t give a timeline for further action.
Maricich recognizes the perception that the market is expensive. At the press conference introducing Maricich during the January Las Vegas Market, he acknowledged that WMC faces “a lot of misconceptions,” including one that World Market Center is “too expensive.”
Maricich told the press at that time that he would work to get the message out about “the true cost of being here. It’s really about the value you’ve created,” he said.
Today, Maricich told HFN: “Sure, when you create a world-class environment in a world-class city, your value proposition is not being the cheapest,” Maricich said. “Our value proposition is being the most effective.”